Sunday, December 13, 2009

Being (fairly) ordinary

Some time ago I bought a copy of Good Poems, a selection by Garrison Keillor of mostly American poetry. (I set one of the poems to music for my last concert: Welcome Morning, by Anne Sexton.)

Keillor's selection tends to poetry that is more accessible rather than less, with some well-known material, but much that isn't. I discovered late last week while looking for a something called Wedding Poem for Schele and Phil that Keillor is associated with the daily Writer's Almanac, and that a host of similar poems are listed there.

Today's (13th Dec, 2009) is Suits by David Slavitt, and with its discussion of not wearing the best suit because the best occasion hasn't arisen yet, it reminded me of a piece I wrote a while ago (it originally appeared in the Star Midweeker back when I was writing a weekly column for that paper).

This piece, called Missing - Again, bewailed the fact that I had yet again missed out on the Queen's Birthday honours list (a thing that isn't likely to happen any time soon either!) Slavitt writes in a similar vein:

I have not been named
ambassador to Malta; I am not on the board

of any college or large corporation; I shall not

receive a major prize today and pose

for photographers.

Yup, that pretty much sums up my life too. No holidays in Bermuda hotels as a celebrity, no standing on the Town Hall steps in the Octagon before crowds of fans while wiping away unexpected tears, no regular commission for merely being who I am...and so forth. Some of us are just born to be (fairly) ordinary.

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